Enjoy 21 Magical Evenings at Las Noches de las Luminarias
Alyssa has been writing about exciting travel topics for Trips to Discover since 2013. After living the big city life in Chicago, Washington, DC, and Atlanta, Alyssa sold the bulk of her possessions and became a digital nomad, living full-time in her camper and working from wherever she could find an outlet and an internet connection for her laptop.
Read full bio
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is stunningly beautiful at any time of the year. But for 21 magical nights in November and December, it comes alive with a special event of light, sights, and sounds.
The annual event, called Las Noches de las Luminarias, showcases the twinkling lights of over 8,000 hand-lit luminarias. These are small paper lanterns that are traditional in the Southwest, especially around Christmas time. The event runs from November 24 to December 30 this year and also features 10 unique entertainment ensembles for your listening pleasure.
You can expect to hear mariachi, folk, classical, blues, swing, gypsy soul, Native flute, cultural fusion, and western music played nightly. There will also be handbell ensembles on certain days to get you in the festive mood of the season. As you walk through the illuminated garden, you’ll also find Japanese American artist Jun Kaneko’s bold and impressive sculptures along the trails.
If you plan your visit around dinner time, you can make a reservation for Gertrude’s, or satisfy your hunger at the Patio Café or the Dorrance Hall Buffet. The Luminarias are lit between 5:30pm and 9:30pm. Wine by the glass, flight, or bottle is available at the botanical garden’s seasonal boutique store. In the store, you can also find lovely gifts and souvenirs to take home with you.
Tickets go on sale for the general public on October 15 and are $30 for adults, $12.50 for kids ages three to 12, and children under three are free. Botanical garden members enjoy pre-sale tickets and discount rates.
To make this event extra special, consider sponsoring a luminaria bag in memory of a loved one. You can have your personal message displayed on the bag as a tribute to someone special. Since the holiday season is all about sharing and caring, you can also add a donation to your Luminaria ticket to help local nonprofits that serve the Phoenix community.
If you’re new to the Phoenix area or just visiting, it can be hard to get in the holiday spirit without snow, cold weather, and pine trees all around. That’s why we love this festive event as a reminder to appreciate the beauty of the desert at night and the true reason for the season.
Las Noches de Las Luminarias Information:
Address: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008